Global Challenges

How do we prepare for the future?

Researchers come to Bergen from all over the world to solve global challenges. Simon Øverland has invited some of them to tell us about some solutions for the future.

Simon Øverland
SIMON INVITES: In a new series at the House of Literature, four PhD candidates explain how their research contribute to solving global challenges.

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"Many of the challenges facing society can seem insolvable. In this series of conversations I want to show how researchers nevertheless work with solutions, step by step," says Simon Øverland, Director of UiB’s priority area Global challenges and Centre for International Health.   

He has invited four PhD candidates from different fields to talk about their work. They research dementia, the laws of war, urban planning, and a climate-friendly health care system. At first glance they may seem like completely different areas, but Simon sees common denominator: they are problems that affect us directly and that must be dealt with in the near future. 

Fresh and understandable research 

Simon has deliberately decided to invite researchers who are early in their careers. PhD candidates are at the forefront of research. By talking to them we will learn about the freshest research, he says.  

Simon, who himself has a PhD in psychology, makes no secret of the fact that the researchers he has invited are not randomly selected. 

"Even academics can sometimes find it difficult to follow when other researchers talk. Most global challenges cannot be solved by one discipline on its own, so it is important that we understand each other across the disciplines. The PhD candidates that participate in this series are all particularly skilled at talking about their field in a way that outsiders will understand." 

Out of the University, into the House of Literature 

Simon has chosen to hold the series at the House of Literature in Bergen. Here he hopes to also reach an audience outside of academia. 

"One of the most important tasks of the University is to share knowledge, and this must also be done in public arenas outside campus," he says. 

Even though the events are part of a series, it is not necessary to attend all the events. No prerequisite knowledge is needed, and you can attend one, two, or of course all the events. 

Researchers, students and other interested citizens of Bergen are all welcome. When the conversation first gets going, Simon knows it may be difficult to keep to just one hour. 

"Fortunately, the House of Literature offers a great place to linger on and keep the discussion going afterwards!"